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Calvary Annual General Meeting: Sun March 6

This year's AGM will take place immediately after the (shortened) service on Sunday March 6th.

It will take place in person from the sanctuary and broadcasted to zoom CLICK HERE for MAIN ZOOM
Please make time to join us in one of these ways if possible. 

Note for families with kids

There will be a supervised movie available in the youth room.  

Please contact Wendy if you have any questions or need assistance with technology or wish to request a paper copy set aside for you.

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Links to Sections of the 2021  Annual Report


Click on the button below to download the .pdf of the annual report 

Note: If printing on a colour printer, you may want to choose the ‘grayscale’ or black & white option to save on ink.

Message From the Minister
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Message from the Minister

Then, you will overflow with confident hope….  Romans 15:13

In Song of Songs, the bridegroom calls out  to his fiancé, the beloved. She’s shut up in her room and full of worry.  But, when he appears, he begins to call her away from her worries; reminding her he is here.  Then, he begins to point out all the reasons for her to delight and hope.

Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.
The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit,
and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”  Song of Songs 2:11-13


Like his beloved, God has been teaching us the very same thing.  And, though the snowblowers are clearing away the latest wallup of snow as I write this, there are signs of life and hope and God at work all around us, calling us to rise up, look and hope.   I think this annual report is the voice of our God who loves us, calling us to see the signs of hope and new life springing up all around us.  Calling us to rise up and plan and dream and delight in the goodness of God. You’ll see the praying, the dreaming, the care giving, comforting and supporting that carried on; and you’ll hear of the groups that rose up and found ways to meet and connect, the word of God going forth in new ways and richer ways.  Every report is overflowing with the call to rise up and rejoice. 

I want to highlight just a few of the words that leap to mind for me as I read - headlines of  the reasons to expect God to do even more.

Together  (Heb 10:24-25 - Let us not give up meeting together but all the more…)
Who would have thought that two years of lockdowns would lead us to ongoing small groups? They meet to discuss Sundays’ service or study scripture and lean upon one another and help each other know Jesus more?  I’m so grateful for the leadership of Andrew and Amanda, Brian and Angie, Cathy and Lorie, Steve Gayman, Terry Smith and Orville not to mention the staff.  And I’m amazed at our people who have braved zoom and tech glitches and youtube and facebook commenting in order to connect and pray for one another.     together.

Who would have expected evening worship and prayer two nights a week? A community of people drop in from our congregation and others across the nation to worship, encourage and hear God’s voice together? I’m so grateful for Dave, Jordan, Aidan, Rhonda for leading those with me.  Such a reach bastion of hope in our week.     together.

Our leadership planning teams rallied, whether online or in person, to lead us. Online has even allowed our staff to all meet and pray weekly - a rich sense of unity and support and God’s presence is tangible in these times. I’m so grateful for our staff. Such gifted leaders who love Jesus and have so much to offer us! And I’m so grateful for how this congregation loves and encourages their leaders. Calvary Camp and play days and prayer walks and outdoor worship and men’s gatherings and…  together.

Who would have expected teams of caregivers being created or the overflow of speakers and leaders?  Personally, I’m so grateful for all of the leaders and volunteers who stepped in to create space for me to have a rich and restful sabbatical.  What a huge gift!  Thank you to the board, the staff, to Orville and the rich host of lay speakers.  What a huge sign of hope that God is giving so many of us messages to speak that declare God’s presence, goodness and plans for us!


Dream  (…what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor. 2:9)

Look at the technology team that allows services to broadcast - even last year’s annual meeting happened during a lockdown.  Seminars, groups, studies all happening because of amazing volunteers who figure out how to make technology work!  That God gave us such gifted volunteers like Steve, Andrew, Dave, Trent, Matt and Dan are incredible. They created a platform for us to dream.

Dreams for staffing, and creating outreach in parks and downtown Kitchener, training for sharing Jesus with our neighbourhood and our world.  And, even during lockdown, the dream of a new outdoor classroom and memory garden was planted. 

Now, as hope rises of things opening up, of God moving, what dreams might spring up from what God has planted.

Hope    (May God, the source of hope, fill you …. Romans 15:13)
A few years ago, many of our leaders and intercessors heard God saying he wants us, Calvary, to be a place overflowing with hope.  That was an exciting word! What good things must God have in store for us?  That was 2019.   We just didn’t know then that becoming a place overflowing with hope requires us exercising those muscles of trusting God, leaning into God’s heart and direction, and leaning upon each other in richer, deeper ways. 

And it is true! Now and over these last two years, we repeatedly return to the word of hope:  God was good in our past, plans to be good in our future and we can look to see his goodness: the reason for hope in our present.  It is not hard to see the signs of God building strength and hope in our leadership, our planning, our caring for one another.  

If God is so at work, even in so much less than ideal circumstances, imagine what will overflow in seasons of plenty?


Friends, as you read, may God stir hope and dreams and gratitude for what he is doing at Calvary.  May you be encouraged by what your gifts, your serving and your participation have allowed to spring up.  May you be able to see in your family, your neighbourhood and your own heart the things God is stirring up and bringing to life.  Most of all, may you hear the voice of your God call you beloved.​


Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone … Rise up, my beloved! Come away with me, my fair one!”  Song of Songs 2:11-13

Submitted by Rev. Drew Maxwell

Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals


In Loving Memory of…

Walter Steven Bacso
Marian Marline Stephens
Beatrice Tiffin

Official Board Report

Official Board Report

Have you ever attended a meeting and not had a good experience?  Perhaps there was a competitive spirit, perhaps there was condemnation, perhaps you missed a deadline or perhaps you had to do a presentation that you were uncomfortable with.  When your Calvary board meets, there is a spirit of cooperation, uplifting, honour and grace!  We spend time sharing God’s goodness and listening and praying for where God wants to take Calvary.  We then read and ponder declarations for that path.  All before we consider the business aspects of the meeting.


Do you know what the board is responsible for?  The board’s role is to

  • Steward the callings and anointings of Calvary

  • Develop the mission and vision for Calvary in collaboration with the staff

  • Ensure Calvary has operations in place to fulfill its mission and vision, and step into its anointings and callings


The board met for an onsite retreat in October.  There was a real sense of community and team building.  It was a great time of listening to what God has for each of us as well as for Calvary.  One of the favourite pieces was a time of “silent discussion” where we pondered the questions “What do we see God doing in this season in our leadership team?” and “Who does God say we are as a leadership team?”.  We all wrote answers on a big sheet of paper, building upon each other’s, allowing each voice to be heard.  A summary of what we heard:


  • We are starting from a place of being loved, enough, ready, strong

  • Voices & ideas valuable - our giftings are varied & needed

  • Lead out of God’s leadership.  He has created the new paths, wineskins & regrowth

  • We as leadership get to boldly sow new territory and help our community step into new territory, a new stage, a new maturity


We want to thank everyone that stepped up while Drew was on sabbatical - the staff that took on more and made sure everything was covered, those that spoke on Sunday mornings, those that made sure pastoral care still happened, Orville for preaching and being the supervising minister, and everyone else that contributed.  It was so great to see the staff honoured by the congregation in the parking lot at the board retreat – with honking, cheering, signs and cupcakes!


The board continues to appreciate the support of Rhonda and Angie in understanding pandemic protocols and putting appropriate measures in place to keep Calvary safe and accessible.  Thank you!


Please continue to reach out to your board with questions and suggestions about Calvary itself, our mission, vision, direction or operations. We value connecting with you.


Janine Armstrong, Bill Dunbar, Steve Gayman, Jean Healy-Martin, Jane Herlick, Cathy Linseman, Debbie Martin, Drew Maxwell, Lorie Silverthorne, Terry Smith, Geoff Williams, Amanda Wood-Atkinson


Submitted by Lorie Silverthorne

on behalf of Calvary’s 2021 Board


Worship Ministry

Worship Ministry

Worship Leader and Worship Planning Team Report

 “But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.”     

Psalm 13: 5-6


Thriving.  Hope.  The God We Know.  The Church We See.  2021 was a year of holding fast to the promises over Calvary and seeing God move again in power, this time in the midst of a year of turbulence and change in our world.  Our Sunday worship matured into a hybrid online and in-person model for most of 2021, and we saw previous investments in time, talent and treasure  come to fruition as we again pursued all that God holds for us as a church family.

Drew kept leading us, supported by a growing number of voices from within and beyond our church family.  Our media team continued to evolve and grow, adding new team members, shifting to satellite internet, and continuing to evolve new formats for our Sunday worship.  Our worship teams continued to faithfully lead us in singing and worship to the glory of God.   And our More weeknights and Encounter monthly worship continued to provide additional opportunities to connect with God and each other in deeper ways.

For many of us, 2021 was a long haul.  Our worship planning team and staff kept us focused on the truth of who Jesus is and the promises of the Kingdom -  releasing hope, joy and love.  We spent a good part of 2021 focused on how we are created to not just survive but Thrive.  We learned how God defines who we are, not our circumstances.  And we not only held to hope, but learned to run to where God is moving and join in the incredible work of the Kingdom far beyond our church walls.  


What a joy to get to worship and celebrate God together in so many different ways! We praise God for those who reaffirmed their baptism vows this year and for all our yes’s to Jesus!  Calvary family, thank you for continuing to meet together, to worship together, to be the body of Christ together.  

Thank you:

  • To our Welcoming/hospitality team - Brian, Angie, Wendy, Cathy, Bill, Cindy, Jean, Quentin, George, Kathryn, Deb, Jeff, Anita, Terry, Wayne and Sheila - for helping us navigate staying connected in-person and pursuing our pandemic safeguards with excellence.  

  • To our Hosts - Amanda, Janine, Cathy, Terry, Angie, Sharon, and Christine - for welcoming us into the service, setting the tone by sharing God’s heart with us, and keeping us up to date on what’s happening in our church family.

  • To our Teachers, Speakers and Preachers - thank you for moving us forward and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.  Thank you especially to Rev. Orville James and the many other speakers that stepped up over the summer months, supporting Drew in his sabbatical.

  • To our Sharers - thank you for crossing the “awesome line” and boldly sharing from your heart - the treasures that you shared were rich and such a valuable view into what God is doing!

  • To our Media/Tech team - Steve, Matt, Trent, Andrew, Dan and Tucker - you kept audio and visuals clear and joined the creative with the word of God as it went out - reaching ears, eyes and hearts both in-person and online.

  • To our Worship leaders - Joel, Ken, Darlene, Marilyn, Troy, Drew, Rhonda, Jane, Cathy, Jordan, Aidan, Gavin, Dan and Dave - thank you for leading us in song, pointing us to Jesus, and drawing our hearts into worship.

  • To our Sunday “Producers” Rhonda and Kelly - who kept our Sunday mornings organized and flowing with all the right steps for our hybrid worship and kept us on track - leading and troubleshooting every circumstance with grace and peace. 

  • To our Prayer Team - Lorie, Debbie, Jane, Gerry, Angie, Cathy, Sharon, Grace, Katheryn, Amy G, Amy M -  thank you for stepping up online and in-person to bless and pray for our church family, in response to how the Spirit moves during worship - this is such a growing and vital part of our worship!  

  • Finally to our worship planning team - thank you for continuing to press in to what God has for our church family, and how you carry Jesus’ heart in your passion and creativity for seeing the fullness of God released in our worship.

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Thank you God for a year of not just meeting, not just worshiping, but of thriving and pursuing what you have for all of us, as individuals and as a church family.  Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness.

The 2021 Worship Planning team consisted of:  Rhonda Elgersma, Kelly Beitz, Drew Maxwell, Amy Gayman, Jane Herlick, Cathy Linseman, Amy McDougall, Ian McHardy, and Dave Small.

I would like to add, on a personal note - it continues to be a joy and delight to see from behind the piano and online how God continues to move in power in our worship together.  God is taking us from confidence to boldness in our worship, from receiving to imparting, and from peace and hope to joy, and most of all from glory to glory.  


Thank you Calvary church family for your worship and prayers of your hearts and for your encouragement of each other, whether online in a weeknight More session, or taking in Sunday worship from your living room, office or in-person.  God is with us, and we have not given up meeting together (Heb 10).  I am convinced that regardless of what troubles we find in our circumstances, God is providing his presence and glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor 4), and He is training our hearts and minds for mighty and glorious Kingdom work, now and yet to come.  

Submitted with blessings and thanks and praise,

Dave Small, Director, Music Ministry

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Family, Children & Youth Ministries

Family, Chilren & Youth Ministries

Lighthouse Family and Children's Ministry

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Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning. -Hebrews 10:24-25 TPT

This scripture came to mind as I sat to write this report - specifically the part about “find creative ways to encourage and motivate others”. As I read these verses in their entirety I couldn’t help but think 2020 was a practical picture of this scripture. In a time when it has been unnatural and at times unsafe to meet together and when it has been difficult to physically connect, we have pressed into choosing community and finding creative solutions that have resulted in some beautiful acts of compassion and expressions of love. Looking back on our 2020 Family and Children’s Ministry highlights, I pause and choose to believe again that God is good. God is at work. God has been busy drawing us closer to him. God is bringing us closer as a body, his church and he is working to make himself known - His love, His peace, His joy, His hope. I pray that as you read through these highlights, as you look back and remember - that you can also see a God who is continually at work in all things for the good of those who love him. 


Lighthouse Lessons 

  • Jan to June - We launched our Lighthouse Video Ministry. With the help of Olivia Martin and Amy Gayman, there was a 5-10 min video posted each week for kids and families of all ages to watch and participate in. The focus from Jan - March was our God gives us the “Courage to_____.” and then from April - June the focus shifted to our God gives us the “Freedom to ___.” which aligned with the whole church pressing into the word “Thrive”.

    • All these videos continue to be accessible and continue to be great truths. You can access them all on the Calvary United Church St Jacobs YouTube Channel in a playlist entitled “Children and Family Videos”.

    • In the making of these videos, we worked hard at connecting truth while also personally connecting with our kids and families and featuring them in our videos as a way to continue to foster relationships and community.

    • A “Drop In” lesson structure was launched in person in the gym on Sunday mornings. Kids and families could come and get pieces of a lesson to take back into the big church and do together as a form of worship together. The drop in lesson always related to the Lighthouse “video of the week”.

    • Worship stations continued to be made available to kids and families on Sunday mornings along with worship bags to help kids engage more fully in the service with their families.

  • July to Aug - We transitioned to separate in-person ministry time for children on Sunday mornings. The summer was spent in our new outdoor ministry area “traveling the world”. Kids earned stamps for each country they visited. The focus was on connection and seeking to see and know God in the world around us. 

  • Sept to Dec - Our Lighthouse rooms were opened once again with leaders, mentors and kids meeting together in small groups including:

    • JK/SK - Love Lights

    • Gr 1-3 - Miracle Workers

    • Gr 4-5 - Kingdom Builders

    • Gr 6-8 - Jr. Youth

These times have focused on community, simple truths and time with God in a safe and fun way. It has been such a treat to see the kids and families out who have chosen to re-engage in in-person ministry times.

Other Children and Family Ministry Structures and Opportunities

  • January featured an online Calvary Family Trivia night where we encouraged all ages to engage in some good old fashioned trivia fun. 

  • Good Friday Outdoor Interactive Worship where our youth helped to create spaces for individuals and families of all ages and stages to engage in the goodness and hope of Easter.

  • A special Easter Video featuring “Cooking with Kelly at Calvary” where supplies were made available to make “Empty Tomb Rolls” 

  • Calvary @ Camp - The August long weekend once again allowed Calvary folks to head up to Silver Lake Camp for a weekend of Calvary family fun. We had just over 30 people choose to come and spend what turned out to be a very rainy but fun and memorable weekend together. Despite the weather and the covid restrictions we found ways to experience the elements that make up what we love to call “camp”. Each day we were able to come together around some all-camp fun, some Jesus focused teaching and use the spaces and engage in the activities that Silver Lake has to offer. This simple structure of combined group activities, lots of outdoor time as well as more space to break off into smaller groups was a huge success and will likely have elements that find their way into the next time we plan to go to camp! We are thankful for Silver Lake, the site and the blessing that the Camp Committee gave Calvary to use the space this summer. We also extend a huge thanks to Loralee and the Stickney family for once again planning and preparing our meals - especially in this season of covid that added many more elements to consider and plan around. We appreciate and value what you bring to this ministry!


Thank you to all of our Lighthouse volunteers - leaders and mentors - who have helped make all these events and as well as Sunday morning ministry times happen! A huge thanks to Amy Gayman and Olivia Martin who have continued to step into additional leadership involving long term planning, curriculum writing and HOURS of video making! Thanks to the whole team for your time, energy, love for your God and love of our kids & families!

  • Gerry Arcand

  • Jade Beitz

  • Amy Gayman

  • Kate Gayman

  • Doug Gielen

  • Sarah Jacobs

  • Jean Martin

  • Olivia Martin

  • Trisha McLaughlin

  • Lisa Price

  • Crystal Schnarr

  • Joel Shantz

  • Braedan Smith

  • Megan Stickney

  • Dani Thomas

  • Angie Tuffnail

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God is good and works for good in all things for those who love him (Romans 8:28). I believe this as a foundational truth. When we choose Him and we choose to place ourselves in a community who is also choosing him, we set ourselves in a space of continually hearing truth which leads to joy, peace, purpose and hope. This past year has not been easy but it has been good. God is at work and continues to work at bringing us together as his people. Thank you for the ways you have engaged in learning and growing together as families. Thank you for the ways you have supported this ministry with your words of encouragement and prayers. And thank you God for all the ways you have moved and will continue to move in our kids, our parents and our families! 

Submitted by Kelly Beitz
Director of Family and Children’s Ministries


Junior Youth

The youth in grades 6, 7, 8 (‘jr youth’) are such an important part of our church family!  We have loved seeing this group of youth grow as a community, as followers of Jesus, and as leaders!  On Sundays they engage in our Lighthouse Ministry with a special format designed to pour into them as growing followers of Jesus and leaders.  Each week they engage as a small group together in the youth room or they step into serving roles throughout the church.  From connecting with kids in Lighthouse, to changing the sign at the road, to helping in the tech booth (and much more!), we love watching the Jr.Youth serve and shine!  

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Once a month we continued to gather to grow as a community and have some fun together!  We were able to make a number of great memories together including playing games together at the church, mini golf, tobogganing and online fun.  
While some of these regular rhythms were interrupted this year, we have been so impressed with the resilience of our Jr. Youth!  They were great at rolling with the various pivots we had to take and they did a great job of growing as a community together!  


Submitted by

Rhonda Elgersma (Director of Youth Ministries)

Kelly Beitz (Director of Family and  Children’s Ministries)

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Senior Youth

We call our regular Sr. youth gatherings “HOME”.  We call ourselves HOME with the goal that our community would be a space that felt like a family. A place of belonging; a place where you are known.  Well, this year our HOME once again went through a few renovations!  But those elements of connection and belonging continued regardless of the platform and circumstances around us!  


HOME’s vision continues to seek to be a safe passageway for youth to meet with and encounter the love and transforming freedom of Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit through community, memorable experiences, worship, growing, and serving.  


We continued to try new ways to make the online platforms work!  We ended up finding some great tricks and tools and had some rich times of fun and ministry online together.  From online worship stations to encouragement boards to hilarious games, we will have some good memories of our meeting together online.


All that to say we were so excited when we were able to start meeting together in person again!  Because of our size and space available, we could safely meet and enjoy time together! This was so needed and valuable!  We so loved being back up in the youth room, playing and worshipping together in the ‘living room’.  Even with masks and distancing, it was simply good to be able to pursue God together again and be together in the same space!  


This year's crew has been small but faithful - to each other, to the community & church, and to their journey with God.   I can’t imagine navigating this year with a group as willing and gentle as this crew of sr.youth.  They were so gracious as we navigated pivots and protocols and had to try out new things and strategies together (a few times!).  They carry such joy and enthusiasm!  


Some special highlights this year included: 

  • Creating a virtual youth room and utilizing ‘gathertown’ (an online platform) to run youth group in a way that felt more organic and natural.  

  • The Chosen - we enjoyed watching and discussing Season 1 of The Chosen throughout the year.

  • Outdoor adventures including tobogganing in the church parking lot, a beach day, campfires, and outdoor movie nights.

  • Donut Deliveries - to encourage our youth to “do-nut be discouraged” 

  • Online student led bible study

  • Returning back to in person meetings after a time away online, we loved getting to reconnect back together in our youth room space.  

  • Innovation of finding silly and socially distanced games and ways to have fun together!

  • Leadership Development Camp - five of our sr youth were able to participate in the LDC summer program and what a joy it was to see them shine and how that strengthens our youth ministry as a bonus fruit!

  • Outreach opportunities in the church (baking cookies, making a meal) and outside the walls (serving at St.Jacobs Halloween event)


We were blessed to have Jordan Vogt serve as a student leader and co-op student earlier in the year!  Jordan jumped into a few different areas in church ministry - outreach, worship, and youth!  She helped run a 3 week small group in March called “Jesus is…” and helped with the leadership of weekly youth group.  Thanks Jordan!  


A special thank you to our awesome volunteer team (Jamie Connelly, Kaylie Wolfe, Simon MccKenzie, & Emily Cowley) along with the partnership & support of Kelly Beitz and other members in our church family.   And an extra thank you to our youth for being so resilient and hanging with us this year.  I am so proud of you.  I know it was difficult sometimes when you got tired of all the screens; or when we returned to in-person but maybe not all of us were able to join – it’s been challenging.  But I am so impressed in how you have pressed through – in your own ways. Thank you for the ways you made space in your life and home for your HOME crew and Jesus community!  


God has amazing things in store for all our amazing youth

and we celebrate them!


Submitted by Rhonda Elgersma

Director of Youth Ministries

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Small Group


Small Group Ministries